According to Eric Pincus from Hoopsworld, the Lakers main concern with trading for Dwight Howard is not the extension, but recovery from back surgery. Word is the recovery has been going “very slowly.”
Andrew Bynum remains the main asset coveted by the Magic, and he would be open to signing a long-term extension. However, in any Howard trade, the Magic want to include players like Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson or Chris Duhon and get their salary off the books. In short, the Magic are trying to erase ex-Magic GM Otis Smith’s mistakes in any Howard trade. As of now, the Lakers do not want to take on any additional salary unless they too can unload a contract like Metta World Peace.
As for the extension, Laker brass are confident that by owning Howard’s Bird Rights, he would also sign long-term.